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FREE SHS BEST GIFT FOR FAMILIES - UNICEF Boss Lauds Akufo-Addo

General News

The Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund, Henrietta Fore, has lauded the exceptional commitment of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his government to make education the number one priority in Ghana.

The Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund, Henrietta Fore, has lauded the exceptional commitment of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his government to make education the number one priority in Ghana.

 

Ms Fore is particularly enthused about the successful introduction of free secondary school education policy by the Akufo-Addo government, and believes it is one of the best things ever to happen in Ghana.

“If I may pay homage to President Akufo-Addo, having free secondary school is probably the greatest gift you can give to a family and a girl. It then encourages the girl to not be considered lesser in her family, and it encourages her to go to school,’ she said.

She was speaking during a panel discussion as part of activities to mark the achievement of Education Above All Foundation's commitment to enroll 10 million out of school children to receive quality primary education, mostly in the world's most deprived and vulnerable communities.

President Akufo-Addo attended the programme in his capacity as the Co- Chair of the Group of Advocates of Eminent Persons of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Giving the keynote address at the event, President Nana Akufo-Addo stated clearly that there was no part of the world that does not recognise the importance of education.

The President explained that the free SHS Policy introduced for the first time by his administration has put 90,000 more students into Senior High School in 2017, than in 2016.

“Our goal is to guarantee every Ghanaian child a minimum of secondary school education. It is the hope of every mother and father, not only in Ghana, that education will help their children escape poverty, and provide them the avenue to a good life,” the President added.

“We have all accepted that education is the best route to moving out of poverty. Today's youth, running barefoot to school, could be a future leader of the arts, business, government, industry or sports,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo made reference to his late father who lost both parents at a tender age but was able to persevere and ended up as a barrister and later on became an outstanding figure in Ghana.

With 63 million children in the world, between the ages of 6 to 11, currently out of school, President Akufo-Addo noted that EAA and UNICEF would help bridge that gap, “and draw us closer to the realisation of Sustainable Development Goal No. 4, which enjoins us to help ensure inclusive and equitable quality education, and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

“For us in Ghana, the Capitation Grant, introduced some 13 years ago, under the administration of that far-sighted Ghanaian statesman, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, the 2nd President of Ghana’s 4th Republic, is, presently, enabling six million, three hundred and seventy one thousand, nine hundred and seventy five (6,371,975) school-going children, representing some 90% of school-going children in Ghana, to enjoy fee-free education in our basic schools,” he said.

On behalf of the ten million children, who are being afforded the opportunity to sit in a classroom, and chart their own path for the future, President Akufo-Addo said “thank you, once again, to Her Royal Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Education Above All and UNICEF.”